Garth Brooks ends retirement for Las Vegas residency

, Staff

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Country music legend Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement to accept a residency in Las Vegas where he will will in the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Brooks made the first part of the announcement in Nashville before jetting of to join casino tycoon Steve Wynn at a press conference in Las Vegas. The special series of weekend concerts will begin the weekend of December 11 and then continue on select weekends in 2010 and possibly thereafter. Brooks, the #1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, will join a legacy of superstars to set up shop in Las Vegas from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to more recent additions Elton John and Celion Dion.

Brooks, 47, has been retired since 2001 and had planned on remaining outside of the spotlight till his youngest daughter graduated from High School in five years. However, Wynn was able to do what many had failed do in the past and convinced Brooks to return to performing live. “Steve Wynn has done what I thought was impossible,” Brooks said. “He has given me a chance to sing again for the people, while at the same time never missing a day with my children.”

“Now in order to accomplish this goal, I must confess that I had to by him a jet plane,” Wynn said with a laugh at the press conference. The private plan will allow Brooks to remain at home with his family through the week before he flys to Las Vegas for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then return home to Owasso, Oklahoma in time to drop the kids off at school on Monday morning. “My life is not going to change for the five years we are hoping to do this,” Brooks said. “I’ve cleared it with my girls… and that’s all that matters to me.”

Brooks will perform the shows as a solo-acoustic act with no backing band, though special guests (including his wife Trisha Yearwood) may appear at any of the concerts. Calling the shows his “chance to slowly get back into it”, Brooks plans on taking the audience through the story of his life with music from his own catalogue as well as many of his influences for a show that will run at least 90-minutes. Brooks said the the Encore Theater is his stage and he would do with it what he wants in order to make each show unique and special for those inside the intimate theatre. Cameras, recording devices and even cell phones will not be permitted inside the theater.

The deal had been rumored for the past several months with much of the final stages of negotiations revolving around ticket pricing as Brooks favored pricing far below Las Vegas standards. In the end, the two agreed on one standard price for all seats, $125. The price is far higher than what Brooks is used to charging his fans but also falls far below what many top performers in Las Vegas charge. No financial details on the deal have been revealed, though Brooks did joke “”I didn’t think (Wynn) could afford me. I was wrong.” The two also agreed that Brooks can walk away from the deal at any time as long as he completes any schedule shows. The deal would presumably continue for the next five years, during which Brooks has said he will not record any new material or tour elsewhere.

Each show will take place at 8 p.m. with the second show on Saturdays scheduled for 10:30 p.m., though the times are subject to change. Brooks and Wynn plan to announce a new set of shows quarterly with a total at least 15 weekends of performances scheduled each year. The first batch of shows are scheduled for: December 11 to 13, January 1 to 3 and 22 to 24, and February 12 to 14 and 26 to 28. Wynn’s Encore Theater has a capacity of 1,500 with the farthest seat being only 71 feet away. All tickets will be priced at $125. In an attempt to quell potential scalpers, fans will be required to pick up all purchased tickets in person on the day of the show with a valid ID, which they may also be required to present while entering the theatre. Tickets for the first set of shows will go on sale Saturday, October 24 at 11 a.m. (ET). Tickets may be purchased by calling 702-770-7469 or online at www.wynnlasvegas.com/boxoffice.

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